The cartoonist whose real life inspired Pepé Le Pew explained the skunk's hapless views on romance

"His devotion to women was at times pathetic, at times psychological, but always enthusiastic."

Warner Bros.

The first time Tweety uttered the phrase "I tawt I taw a puddy tat" happened in the 1942 Merrie Melodies cartoon A Tale of Two Kitties.

This cartoon featured two cats, Babbit and Catstello, as a parody of Abbott and Costello.

Voicing Catstello — and Tweety in his debut role (when he isn't even yellow yet, just a featherless hatchling) — was Mel Blanc, an iconic voice actor in cartoon history.

Voicing Babbit was Tedd Pierce, a cartoon screenwriter who rarely voiced characters but whose real life ended up inspiring a very famous figure in cartoon history: Pepé Le Pew.

"If there was ever another pogo stick," cartoonist Chuck Jones wrote in his autobiography, referencing the skunk's well-known hops, "It was Tedd Pierce."

"His devotion to women was at times pathetic, at times psychological, but always enthusiastic," Jones continued. "It would have been impossible to work with Tedd and not come up with the idea of Pepé Le Pew."

Throughout the time that Jones worked with Pierce, Jones knew Pierce as an honest, decent, and thoughtful ladies' man.

In the biography, Pierce is quoted explaining his own hapless romantic views. He said his strategy was to ask a lady out and upon acceptance from a lady, he just fell extremely hard every time.

"I never offer flowers, baubles, or bubbles before an encounter, but my love and admiration and resources become boundless afterward," Pierce said. "I want my love to feel loved, admired, cared for, and deeply aware of my gratitude and affection."

Four years after Pierce voiced Babbit in A Tale of Two Kitties, the character Pepé Le Pew debuted in the 1946 cartoon Odor-able Kitty. Pierce wrote that cartoon.

"It was only logical, of course, that Ted would be in on the beginnings of Pepé Le Pew," Jones wrote.

In Odor-able Kitty, we watch as Pepé's tail bounds through a field of pink flowers. When the "odor of attraction" hits, his tail sticks straight up. He spends the rest of the cartoon in romantic pursuit of the cat he declares is his "little cabbage."

"Tedd worked with me as a writer-gag man for several years, a source of constant surprise and delight," Jones said, proudly pointing to his early work with Pierce as some of his best.

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DawnGraham 16 months ago
Pepe Le Pew my favorite cartoon character.
jh4306 16 months ago
speaking of the 3 stooges when i was a little kid my mom would tell me "it's not real" they aren't hurting anyone. also we had local kids tv host....and i bet if your from cleveland,ohio you will remember him. captain penny! he would always say "watch what they do....but don't do what they do". i always took that to heart. i knew what was going did my
dmagoon jh4306 16 months ago
I agree, though the Three Stooges violence seems PBS/BBC style compared, for instance, that of "The Flintstones".
leelee1009 jh4306 16 months ago
The Stooges frequently sustained minor injuries when filming, from unclean, and unsafe conditions on the set
LittleMissNoName 16 months ago
Pépé le Putois is also based off of French actors Charles Boyer's and Maurice Chevalier.
justjeff LittleMissNoName 16 months ago
Yes, but Mel Blanc alway said he didn't do imitations - so he put his own spin on Pepe le Pew's voice, leaving us to *presume* it was either based on Charles Boyer or Maurice Chevalier...
daDoctah LittleMissNoName 16 months ago
Meanwhile, Johnny Depp has said that he based his portrayal of Captain Jack Sparrow on a combination of Keith Richards (of course!) and Pepe Le Pew.
WordsmithWorks 16 months ago
The character of Pepe Le Pew would never fly today. He would be charged with sexual harassment and assault and sent to animal prison.
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dmagoon WordsmithWorks 16 months ago
On the Pokemon episode "The Superhero Secret", Brock certainly went too far in flirting with a pretty girl, and Misty had to THREATEN him.
leelee1009 WordsmithWorks 16 months ago
Pepe would be a public health hazard, too, since skunks (and raccoons) are major transmitters of rabies!!!
Bricat2001 SalIanni 16 months ago
Wait they used disclaimers for the Brady bunch????
SalIanni Bricat2001 16 months ago
That's right they did! The episodes that I remember them from are "The Un-Underground Movie" and "Kelly's Kids". "Gilligan's Island" had many of them, which I still find strange.
LittleMissNoName 16 months ago
Please keep the Looney Tunes a rollin. I'm actually discovering new ones everyday and weekend, that I have never seen on Cartoon Network.
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